Carroll can’t slow down Morgan, DeLucas in setback

RADNOR >> Led by senior running backs Rodney Morgan (20 carries for 118 yards and a touchdown) and Nick DeLucas (7-96, 1 TD), the Upper Moreland Golden Bears trounced the Patriots of Archbishop Carroll, 27-6, in a nonleague game Friday night.

Near the end of the first quarter, Morgan danced along the offensive line before finding a lane for a 48-yard touchdown run to give the Golden Bears a 7-0 lead.

Following a 1-yard touchdown run by Archbishop Carroll junior running back Christian Smith on the Patriots’ first drive of the second quarter, DeLucas shook off a couple of would-be tacklers and rushed 76 yards for a touchdown to put Upper Moreland up, 13-6.

But the Golden Bears were just gettting starter as junior quarterback Casey Decker found sophomore Nick Pagano for a 56-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-6 before halftime.

Out of the locker room, the Golden Bears were on cruise control in the second half on both sides of the ball.

Holding possession of the ball for much of the third quarter, thanks in part to the success of the running game, Decker made his only error of an otherwise excellent evening by tossing an interception to Patriots junior defensive back Richard Melito.

Decker bounced back in the fourth quarter with a 19-yard touchdown strike to senior tight end Ryan Norton, finishing the night completing five of eight passes for 121 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

After the game, Morgan and DeLucas were quick to heap praise on one another.

“I think we work really well together,” DeLucas said. “I block for him, he blocks for us. We’ve got good chemistry. We had great blocking from our line and a hole opened up for both of us on our big runs and it worked out well.”

Golden Bears head coach Adam Beach said having two weapons on offense greatly helped open things up for Decker in the passing game.

“When you have two good running backs, it forces defenses to play you honest,” Beach said. “And when they have to play you honest, you can’t cover everything.”

Patriots head coach Joe Powel explained that failure to gain momentum made getting into a rhythm difficult for his team.

“We turned the ball over a couple of times and when we forced turnovers ourselves, we couldn’t capitalize,” Powel said.

The game also marked the first ever start for Patriots’ sophomore quarterback Rick Groce, who struggled, completing just one pass on 12 attempts with an interception.

“Rick’s a capable quarterback,” Powel said. “He’s big and athletic and he had a good week of practice, but again this is a sophomore quarterback in a varsity football game and there was a lot of pressure on him. He just needs to focus on slowing the game down and getting the ball out of his hands.”

The Bears head to Conwell-Egan Catholic Friday night to take on the Eagles while Archbishop Carroll hosts Bishop McDevitt next Saturday night.

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